While Pharrell may be able to pull off vintage Vivienne Westwood hats—no matter how Smokey the Bear they look—those just warming up to headwear beyond baseball caps and beanies are in need of something that’s contemporary yet wearable. Enter GL NYC, a new brand that’s helping fill this void, with top quality hats made in Manhattan’s Garment District.
“I always thought people looked good in hats, but there didn’t seem to be anyone out there who was making and branding hats in a contemporary and current way,” founder Gabriel Liberty tell CH. “So the idea from the beginning was to make a hat brand for younger people—people such as myself who had never even worn hats before. However, it’s very important to me that GL NYC is never seen as a ‘hat maker’; it sounds too old fashioned.”
Liberty admits that, surprisingly, he doesn’t have any design background whatsoever. “I’ve always been interested in fashion and clothing, but I studied film in college,” Liberty tells CH. “After school I had a few jobs and internships working in fashion on the creative side, but never designing. It came out of thin air for me.” It’s his eagle eye for observation—from brands he admires to street style seen on the sidewalk—that’s resulted in styles that feel at-the-moment yet classic. GL NYC’s holiday collection is a modern take on the Patagonian gaucho hat and is brave enough to offer it in a bright hunter green.
Material-wise, GL NYC hats are made from 100% rabbit felt—a choice Liberty made after trying to work with wool, which is less expensive but doesn’t hold its shape as well. Overall, the well thought out styles are an enticing option for those who want to venture, slowly, into the world of hats.
GL hats retail for $225 and are available for purchase on their web store. Stay tuned for an upcoming collaboration between GL and fellow NYC label ADEEN in two weeks, where wide brim hats will sport cat ears and devil horns.
Images courtesy of Gabriel Liberty